Britain's greenhouse gas emissions fell 3.3 pct in 2015: govt
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Smoke billows from a chimney in the early morning hours during a smoggy day near Ramsgate April 10 2015.
By Susanna Twidale
LONDON: Britain's greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions fell by 3.3 percent in 2015 largely due to a declinein coal-fired power generation and marking the third straightyearly drop preliminary government data showed on Thursday.
Output of the heat-trapping gases in Europe's second-largestemitter behind Germany fell to 497.2 million tonnes of carbondioxide equivalent (CO2e) from 514.4 million tonnes in 2014the Department of Energy and Climate Change said.
Emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) the main greenhouse gasblamed for climate change dropped 4 percent to 405 milliontonnes.
The fall stemmed largely from a drop in energy-sectoremissions. Those fell 13 percent to 136 million tonnes of CO2eas low-carbon electricity production from renewable and nuclearpower plants rose and carbon-intensive coal generation fell.
Data released by the government last month showed coal-firedgeneration fell 24 percent last year while nuclear generationrose by 10 percent and wind generation by 24 percent.
Thursday's data shows Britain's GHG emissions have fallen 38percent since 1990 and dropped for a third consecutive year.
Britain has a legally binding target to cut its GHGemissions by 2050 to 80 percent below 1990 levels and has setout five yearly carbon budgets towards meeting this goal.
The country is on track to achieve the cuts needed to meetthe second and third carbon budgets to 2022 but the governmenthas said it risks missing the fourth 2023-27 budget whichneeds a reduction of 50 percent by 2025.
Last November the government announced plans to closepolluting coal-fired power plants and replace them with gasplants by 2025 but industry experts have warned the new plantsare not being built quickly enough.
They also warned that a decision last year to cancel a 1billion pound ($1.44 billion) project to help fund technology tocapture CO2 emissions and store them underground would makemeeting the climate target more difficult.
The bulk of Britain's emissions some 27 percent came fromenergy supply followed by transport at 23 percent business at14 percent and residential at 13 percent. The rest came fromsectors including agriculture and waste management.